Self-funded Toronto technology company Format offers an online portfolio platform designed for creatives. They work with designers, illustrators, photographers and artists across the globe. Founded in 2010, Format has grown from its original two founders to a team of 35. We admire their focus on growing their team sustainably – one of the reasons they didn’t take on external investors was to be able to make careful and timely decisions about hiring. In 2015, they launched their digital magazine, a wonderfully curated collection of art and design-focused articles intended to inspire their users and community. And most recently, they’ve celebrated the amazing milestone of having a user in every country.
Format uses their custom Scout Books as takeaways for office visitors and event attendees. For example, when they teamed up with the Canadian design museum Design Exchange to host a talk by Roman Mars of the podcast 99% Invisible, each guest received one. Their pocket-sized notebooks have a terrific cover design, a word jumble of inspiring terms: colour, composition, contrast, create, designer, detail, idea, illustrator, and imagination (and that’s just the front cover!).